What Are Eye Boogers?

By sandy
Reviewed: dr. stavarache
Article Sources Article Sources
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Medical Expert Medical Expert

For those wondering what those crusty formations on their eyelids are, the colloquial term is eye boogers. They're also referred to as eye crust and sleep sand. When excess eye boogers are formed, it may indicate an underlying condition.

For the most part, it just indicates that the eye's self-cleaning mechanism works well. Eye boogers consist of a substance called rheum, which is much like mucus. It collects dust particles, skin cells, oils and water. This in turn gravitates to the corners of the eyes during sleep. As there is no blinking or expelling, the eye boogers dry out.

When Should You See a Doctor?

Signs that eye boogers may indicate something more serious include a thickening in the mucus. A change of color may also be of concern, such as when they turn bright white, gray, yellow or green. It's also worth checking out eye boogers when they're accompanied by other symptoms.

Dry and itching or watery eyes, sties and pain may all indicate conditions that may need attention from a medical professional. While these symptoms may go away on their own, there are those who may require medical intervention such as medication or surgery.

Eye Boogers

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